After all leads came to an end, Father Wilhelm withdrew to the Great Temple in contemplation; Why had Sigmar abandoned them in their quest to save the holy boy? Why were the answers forever out of their reach?
Levi and Luthor decided to take a new avenue, and began their hunt for the so-called Vengeance of Sigmar- a vigilante beloved by the poor and faithful for his unerring shadow war against mutants and dark powers across all boundries of land and society across the Altdorf expanse.
Finding information was not easy, the people of Altdorf who knew anything of the Vengeance were keen to keep a glamour of mystery around their hero. Many stories were told of a giant, strapping man who duelled with a rapier and wgose presence made mutants recoil. The only consistent parts of the story were the mask and black outfit he wore and that once he killed his target, he hammered a tin badge emblazoned with the holy symbol of Sigmar’s comet into the forehead of the body. Judging the latter to be too difficult to find amidst the hundreds of badge-sellers in Altdorf (Sales of copy-cat items were booming from the Vengeance’s fans), instead aiming to search the costumers of Altdorf for the man who made his mask.
As luck would have it, Luthor’s first hunch was correct. As they walked into the seemingly empty shop in the Theatre District, the duo’s urge to loot the place was soon replaced with curiosity when they heard moaning coming from the back room. Throwing the door open, the found the owner, Rickard Raush, spread eagled on his clothiers table. Pinking shears were impaled through the palms of his hands and his ribs were exposed in places where his chest had been mutilated. Jan had beaten them here.
After attempting to calm the man and pouring him some brandy into his parched throat, Rickard explained that he knew the vengeance after realising tbhe mask was one that had been stolen from him some months ago. Around the same time, an old, tall, thin leyman with a scarred forehead from the Great Temple stopped passing by. Rickard was proud that his creation was being used for such a noble cause, but couldn’t keep he information secret under torture, and Jan now knew.The shopkeep ended the discussion, unable to continue for the pain and begging for a merciful death to allow him to attone for his treatchery. Luthor decided to attempt to employ the mysterious magical amulet that he had taken from Father Wilhelm to heal the man. Focussing his thoughts onto the healing of the man, Luthor’s mind got but a glimpse of a sinister horned figure assailing his very soul before the man burst into black flames, writhing in agony for his final seconds before the fires consumed him. The duo, startled by what they had caused, grabbed some of the man’s clothier equipment in a trunk and fled the scene, leaving the charred corpse behind them.
At the Temple of Sigmar, Levi and Luthor were directed to Brother Hiltveld, a pudgy librarian who was only too happy to help. He was initially suspicious of the party, informing them that Witch Hunters had come asking for the same man earlier that day- it sounded like the frail and curious old man, Ansel, had gotten himself into some trouble. This trouble was only made all the more real when Luthor realised the description of the Witch Hunters perfectly fit that of Jan and his lackeys.
Rushing across the city to the tennement that Ansel lived, they once again found themselves too late. Ansel lay bloodied and naked on the floor of his cheap top-floor room. The thin old man was surrounded by his Vengeance costume, a bag of tin badges by his side and his sword inert on the floor out of reach. Mutation was plain to see as huge gills on his ribs rapsed at the air, making faint snuffling noises with each breath. Ansel was praying that Sigmar would not let him die whlst the taint of corruption was still upon him, almost oblivious to the party as he asked for his holy work of destroying mutants and chaos to continue. With his final breath he apologised to the party (assuming in his dyng eyes and mind they be his landlord) for making such a mess, and that Tobias (Jan’s true name) could not hurt him any further as he was beyond pain. Taking a final breath, he died in the arms of Levi. Both Levi and Luthor, struck by the passing of such a good man, decided it was a necessary evil to mutilate the remains so as to hide his mutations. The apparel of the Vengeance was taken away so that Altdorf would not find its saviour had died, and along with them took a colletion of Ansel’s journals.
During the night Luthor read the history of Ansel, as Levi lay awake, his mind begining to crack under the weight of the horrors he had witnessed.
From the small northern town of Keck, Ansel was a bright, lonely merchant’s son with an aptitude for magic. In his teens he fell for a wood carver’s daughter. When she spurned him he ran away to Altdorf,
determined to join the Colleges of Magic, intending to find a magical way to make his love fall for him.
When his teachers wouldn’t tell him what he wanted to learn, he began looking in forbidden books. He ran away from the Colleges and studied on his own, buying books from Estlemann until the witch hunters came for him. He ran to Marienburg and fell in with Ruprecht, who promised him the power to win back his lost love.
Ansel didn’t like Ruprecht or Tobias, who also assisted Ruprecht, but the promise of knowledge kept him in the sorcerer’s service. Two years ago Ruprecht acquired the Necklace of Unfailing Loyalty —a necklace that would make the wearer love whoever placed it upon them. Ansel determined that he would steal it and use it on his lost love.
What happened next is in the missing Volume 10.
Volume 11 starts with Ansel in Altdorf, repenting his investigations into the dark powers and mourning the death of his love in Rurhoff. He doesn’t say exactly what happened, but it is clear the Necklace of Unfailing Loyalty killed the girl and gave him his scar and Mutant gills. His mutation is both a blessing and curse. He hates his gills and prays to Sigmar to take them away, but they also help him. He has decided to make his penance to Sigmar by killing as many Mutants and sorcerers as he can, and his gills can smell other Mutants. He uses this power to hunt down and kill them. On the last page of the journal is a final passage. [Ask Marcus for the handout]
During the night, Levi’s darting and woried eyes spotted the black piegon that had been hounding them since their arrival in the city, perched on a wooden beam and watching him. In a black and vengeful mood, the Bretonnian let fly a single bolt from his crossbow and ended the creature’s life. Any supernatural event that he had expected was not forthcoming as the creature simply lay dead by the dockyard.
The next day, the dynamic duo returned to Father Hiltveld to inform him of their findings. Now one of the few sympathisers to the party’s plght, Hiltveld assisted them in finding The Blook on the Reik, which they had decoded from Ansel’s final passage that it would be where his missing journal was hidden. Eventually realising it was the First Edition book they required, the party found Ansel’s journal. Written entirely in Magick and with complex arcane diagrams that hurt the eyes to look upon, the party were wholly unable to comprehend what they were looking at. Hiltveld immediately announced that this was beyond his authority and must be taken to the Grand Theogonist himself.
Rushing across the courtyard, a flock of angry black birds suddenly descended uponthe party, pecking and scratching at their faces. During the confusion, two figures in black snatched the book from the priest and sprinted away. Breaking free of their avian assailants, Luthor and Levi sprinted from the temple after the pair, who were joined by others who had been waiting outisde.
Hurling through the streets of Altdorf, the attackers took to the rooftops to attempt an escape. The one who reained behind to attempt to slow the party was shot by Levi and run through by Luthor’s fine rapier before he could even swing his blade. Up onto the rooftops they went, where they saw first-hand how tretcherous the footing was as one footpad fell to his death. Luthor gave chase and managed to keep pace despite his wooden leg. Levi remained behind, taking great arcing shots with his longbow, heedless of the innocents of Altdorf that would taste his arrows should he miss. Seeing one footpad hanging from a nearby rooftop and attempting to clamber up, Levi loosed an arrow into the mans back, severing his spinal column and impaling him to the support beam of the house he was clinging to.
Luthor had caught up to the thief with the book and they were rolling on the floor, fists flying and daggers being drawn. Despite Luthor having the upper hand for some time, the thief wrestled his assailant from atop him and stumbled to jump for th next rooftop. Luthor leapt once more, throwing both of them from the side of the roof. They both hung on for dear life as Levi approached. From beyond, an unnaturally agile and beautiful woman was leaping from rooftop to rooftop towards the hanging couple.
Beating Levi there, she reached down, snatching the book fro Luthor’s hands before leaping an impossible distance back the direction she had come. Levi assisted Luthor up before kicking and shooting the footpad back down to his death on the cobbles below.
Chasing across the rooftops once more, Luthor’s Sylvanian heriatage gave him a chilling insight into the foe they now faced: A vampire. Levi loosed shots with reckless abandon as the woman leapt into an ornate black carriage pulled by six black-plumed horses. In his zeal, he misplaced his footing and fell three stories, through a wooden rooftop and into a pile of manure in the stable below. Luthor, realising the carriage was not fleeing them at speed approached at a slow jog, tapping on the window. The beautiful ladies inside thanked him for his assistance. They apologised for using the party in such a way, but informed them that they fought against the same foe, and threw a bag of gold coins as a token of gratitude. One vampire leaned out to shoot a hateful glare at Levi, informing him that the pigeon had been her familiar, and that he would pay for his arrogance.
Luthor, utterly enthralled by the powers of the Lhamians could only stand and watch as the carriage left through the eastern gate.